$3-7 More per Hour Buys An Ounce of Professionalism

My official job description contains an open pit, filled with sharp pointy stakes, daintily concealed with soft, fluffy new grass and daisies.

" . . . and other duties, as assigned."

Feel free to shudder and feel my pain, because I average 4-5 hours/week in the rest of my job description, and roughly 36-40 in those "other duties."

One "other duty" is internal public relations.

I hated it when I started it. Most public relations people are fairly perky and enthusiastic, and I run more along the lines of broody and snarky. The Powers That Be gave it to me because I get things done, with little if any supervision, and they would not have to worry about it.

Like everything else that comes my way, I got it done, despite regarding it as a waste of time. I worked up themes and logos, made up imaginary awards that everyone could nominate each other for, and volunteered to publicize just about anything.

There were motivational posters from -- "All we want here is your heart," as the sun sets over an Aztec temple.

But then I discovered something -- people care.

They care a lot.

People I have never met wander in and out of my office, offering content, comments and appreciation.

I touch up all my photos in Photoshop, because I assumed it would be easier to trap people into having their pictures taken if they were confident that I would not publish pictures that made them look bad. I have added hair, made people taller to reduce camera weight, and cleared more complexions than a dermatologist before prom.

Nearly everyone wants prints made.

When I started, I had to assign awards (going to great lengths to conceal the fact that I was picking the recipient randomly). I made it a point to pick shy, quiet people, who moved on the periphery. Sometimes the recognition would be nothing more than the observation that so-and-so always had a smile for everyone.

Now, they do it themselves. And they pick the quiet ones, too.

Morale has improved dramatically.

And I have learned that people don't have to be recognized by management -- for most, the fact that someone has noticed their effort at all is enough to make them feel as if they belong and have value to the team. Others derive their satisfaction from having their opinion matter, and constantly suggest content.

It has made me much more aware, and I would hope a nicer person.

Still not perky, but perhaps a little less broody.


bod said...

good for you anne. every place of work could use one of you.